After scaling their business into a million-dollar yearly gross company, Juan Polanco and Luis M. Rosario have won their title as the “Kingpins of Airbnb.” Both business partners are from the Bronx, New York, which is exactly where their business venture all started.
How did Juan and Luis enter the Airbnb space?
Juan was actually the first partner to get into the Airbnb world, and hasn’t looked back ever since. He was $80k in debt and was on the verge of getting evicted from his apartment when he finally decided to start renting out his spare bedroom. Luckily, he was able to make his rent and actually stay there. This is when he had a clever idea, wanting to rent out both rooms of the apartment he was living in. Although this meant he had to sleep in the living room, he could care less considering he was making a profit of $4-5k+ monthly. The second property he obtained was in the Bronx and then expanded throughout New York City.
Juan was able to successfully close his FIRST Airbnb Property deal with a private investor outside of New York City while wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Which later resulted in four additional properties from the same investor. He mentioned, “people buy into you first. Then into your service or product. No one follows a goal setter, but they will follow a man with a vision. As many people lack a vision of their own.”
How did they establish their partnership?
The Airbnb duo met through Juan’s first business partner, before him and the ex partner had their fall out. At the time Luis was solely focused on his own business, but his soon to be partner, convinced him that “short term rentals is the most lucrative business to get into. His opinion was based off the fact that technology has destructed countless industries, and real estate was not immune to this.”
After seeing the numbers Juan pulled in, Luis was highly impressed how Juan was able to produce $15,341.73 in one month. Let’s not forget the rent was only $4,000, with over a $11k profit, he didn’t need anymore convincing. Luis decided to dive in headfirst and went into business with Juan!
They became very good at dealing with property managers, neighbors and have never had issues till this day. There is no doubt that their sales background helped them scale their business much faster. The knowledge of understanding sales psychology really helped the overall outcome of their personal and business success.
How is their business different from the rest?
While others are focusing on “customer service” which is reactive, Juan and Luis focus on the customer experience, which they create and control. Also, they allocate more resources to identifying their advantage and communicating it through marketing, which no one else in this space is doing.
Unlike others, who simply post their space on Airbnb and wait for bookings, they are proactive. They created a system as efficient as McDonald’s, that even a 16-year-old can operate. This is why they have been able to blow everyone else out of the water, they simply can’t compete.
What is Juan and Luis’s current state when it comes to business?
The current property locations are in New York City, Philadelphia, Connecticut, New Jersey, Atlanta, Texas, Las Vegas, California, Florida and several overseas. Expansion to several other states are in their future plans.
“Our mission today is to help people discover how they can live rent-free and follow their dreams, while impacting the lives of millions. This is not a goal for us, it’s a vision and mission in life! We are doing this by traveling around the United States conducting events and providing an online course, mentorships and consulting,” said the business partners.
Airbnb Business Tips from Juan and Luis:
1. To scale quickly and efficiently do not own at first you need to rent – Your first property is going to be your classroom. You will learn much from it, by not owning you will have the freedom of being able to walk away from that first property, as well as having the luxury to make mistakes, and that’s okay. If you want to scale quickly, owning will just slow down the process.
2. Focus on being different, not better – If everyone stands for good quality then no one does. You need to stand out, have something unique about you, your service or product. Identify your unique advantage, then communicate it.
3. What is the customer experience you’re trying to create? – Remember customer service is reactive. “Can I get more ice?” “I need more towels” all this is reacting to the customer. Reacting is not what we do, or what you should be doing. The customer experience is what you create and control. This is why they will choose you and pay a higher premium for it. Don’t believe me? Just look at Jeff Bezos Founder of Amazon.